Introduction to the Training
In this section, you will find:
Purpose of the Training
Purpose of this Facilitator's Guide
Case for the TWP Training
PURPOSE OF THE TRAINING
TWP was created by three organizations: MP Associates, The Center for Assessment and Policy Development (CAPD), and World Trust Educational Services, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. We sought funding specifically to create resources that a wide variety of groups might use address white privilege and white dominant culture as part of their racial equity and social justice training. The subjects of white culture and white privilege are often taboo, even in those settings. In addition, even very willing practitioners did not feel they had a wide variety of effective resources to help them tackle the issues well and with positive results.
Understanding white dominant culture, along with its embedded historical and associated privileges, provides insight into integral parts of a larger system of inequity. Dominant culture narratives or norms―e.g., what constitutes a “family,”’ who is considered dangerous, intelligent, acceptable and whose perspectives are valid―are codified in customs, laws, institutions, policies, and practices. They reinforce stereotypes and limit fair access in terms of who belongs inside and who remains outside circles of human concern. In addition, cultural assumptions are part of what continue to advantage some groups and disadvantage others. And, even when those inequities are persistent and obvious, the forces and assumptions that drive them often may not be. TWP is intended to fill gaps in understanding while providing an impetus for considering norms, policies and practices that explicitly include a lens that is often not considered in terms of opening up new entry points for policy and systems change.
PURPOSE OF THIS FACILITATOR'S GUIDE
This facilitation guide itself has two main goals:
To help facilitators and host organizations who are considering delivering the TWP training to get a better sense of what that might take in terms of time, logistics, and facilitation experience or skills
To share context, tips, tools, and resources that might help facilitators and host organizations as they prepare for delivering the training
We hope the guide is helpful to experienced social justice and racial equity facilitators who want to think through how best to implement the TWP curriculum. We hope it is also useful to people and groups who want to add deeper attention to white privilege and white culture within their other educational, leadership development, transformative learning, or community change efforts.
The guide is deeply informed from our own experience facilitating several rounds of pilots of the curriculum, plus from post-training surveys of participants and discussions with the organizations who hosted the pilots. It also draws on the experiences of MP Associates, World Trust, and CAPD as facilitators of transformative learning, community engagement, and multi-racial change processes, and as social justice and racial equity facilitators. Given that foundation, we also hope the guide is a useful way for us to share some of what we have learned about this very important, and very challenging, work.
All to boldly interrupt white privilege, because white privilege is what helps create and maintain systemic inequity.
Understanding the system of inequity
Learning about accumulated advantages for whites and accumulated disadvantages for people of color and their current-day legacy
Understanding that whiteness is a social construct and why that matters
Clarity on the different types of white privilege
Learning about how white culture manifests in organizations.
The impact of internalized racism and internalized privilege
Understanding how narratives reinforce inequity
Skills to Practice
Identifying and analyzing white privilege and white culture, and practicing addressing them
Practicing identifying entry points
Creating and using mental checklist questions
Talking about white privilege and structural racism
Practicing strategic questioning
By the conclusion of the training, we hope participants will:
Increase their awareness of how white privilege operates
Learn more about how to instigate change in their spheres of influence
Find new entry points for change
Develop accountability and support among a practice group
Increase their confidence in talking about white privilege
Advance their ability to make a compelling case for addressing white privilege
Have additional tools to work towards racial equity
CASE FOR THE TWP TRAINING
Why Understanding White Privilege and Culture is a 21st Century Leadership Capacity
We recognize that white privilege and white culture are contentious terms and difficult issues with which to grapple in many settings. We went into the development of the curriculum with a strong belief that the effort to grapple with them would be worth it for the participants, particularly in terms of seeing new entry points for positive change.
That is because most of our current laws, regulations, policies and practices in areas like housing, health care, education and law enforcement were established, or justified, in part because of assumptions about what is normal, appropriate or desirable (see Dr. Khalil Muhammad on “Facing Our Racial Past”). These assumptions tend to reflect dominant cultural narratives or norms – for example, what constitutes a “family,”’ who is dangerous, which groups are deserving of societal support and which are not (e.g., the deserving and undeserving poor), etc.
Over time, the consequence of laws, regulations, policies and practices is a multigenerational system of inequity. This system reinforces stereotypes and access to organizational and system power. In addition, when those assumptions are codified into laws, system policies and organizational and community practices, they are part of what creates persistent advantages for some groups and persistent disadvantages for others (for example, redlining, access to education via the G.I. bill, mandatory minimums drug-sentencing policies, etc.). And, even when those inequities are persistent and obvious, their underlying assumptions and the assumptions that maintain them may not be. We argue that understanding white privilege gives leaders another tool for cutting through this complex system, and thus, real and practical entry points for change.
Thus, we believe the capacities to identify, talk about, and intervene around white privilege and its consequences are critical leadership capacities. We also believe they are especially useful capacities for leaders working towards equitable outcomes at organizational, community, and system levels.